The assassination of Robert F. Kennedy: an analysis of the senator's injuries and neurosurgical care.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

On June 5, 1968, having won the Democratic Party presidential primary in California, Senator Robert F. Kennedy delivered a victory speech to supporters at the Ambassador Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Just after 12:15 am (Pacific daylight savings time), a lone assassin shot Kennedy 3 times at point-blank range. One of the bullets struck Kennedy in the right posterior auricular region. Within the ensuing 26 hours, Kennedy was transported to 2 hospitals, underwent emergency surgery, and eventually died of severe brain injury. Although this story has been repeated in the press and recounted in numerous books, this is the first analysis of the senator's injuries and subsequent surgical care to be reported in the medical literature. The authors review eyewitness reports on the mechanism of injury, the care rendered for 3 hours prior to the emergency craniotomy, the clinical course, and, ultimately, the autopsy.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Komisarow, JM; Pappas, T; Llewellyn, M; Lad, SP

Published Date

  • June 1, 2018

Published In

Start / End Page

  • 1 - 6

PubMed ID

  • 29914281

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1933-0693

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3171/2018.4.JNS18294


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States